Here's a helpful hint from a Ragtime customer, Donna Lane:
"I was tired of my stylus "running away and hiding" from me. Solution: Self-stick hook-and-loop dots! I just stuck one half on the front of my machine and the other half on the stylus. No more searching for a runaway stylus!"
"Now if I could just find all the other things that hide from me."
Once upon a time in Polecat Hollow was a family named Good. This family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Good and their daughters, #1, #2, #3, and #4. They lived and worked happily on their small mountain poultry farm.
As time passed, the question remained. How long would this small family of girls remain intact?
Sure enough, one day, “Prince Charming” #1 came calling and
Daughter #3’s heart was smitten. Before long wedding bells
began to ring. An October wedding was planned, and a wedding dress needed to be made. Would you believe it?
This wedding dress was made from some free white fabric
and completed with lace bought from none other than Ragtime Fabrics! “The Wedding Dress” performed successfully, and the couple was sent happily on their honeymoon.
Lo and behold, “Prince Charming” #2, the twin brother of
#1, came calling next. This time it was Daughter #4 whose heart was smitten. Their wedding date was set 5 months
ater in February.
Since this daughter was a busy school teacher and needed
to make many plans for the wedding while teaching, she
opted to wear “The Wedding Dress." Once again, “The Wedding Dress” performed its duty and another happy couple was sent on their way.
Now, daughter #2 had a pillow which displayed her sentiments. She wasn’t going to be swept off her feet!
But…this time “Prince Charming” came in the form of
a tall, lanky, 6-footer. He, being Mr. Right, became the
next instigator in making wedding bells ring. Daughter
#2 being the no-nonsense, frugal, get-it-done person that she is, she decided “The Wedding Dress” was fine for her.
Sure enough, it performed beautifully, and another couple was sent off into the horizon!
Daughter #2 decided she no longer had use for her pillow and bequeathed
it to sister #1. Daughter #1 had many suitors who came and went, yet she remained single, waiting for Mr. Right. While waiting she joined the SAND club (Single and NOT Desperate). However, in this club was another non-desperate young fellow and HE became the next “Prince Charming."
Daughters #4, #3, and #2 joined in chorus, "You must wear The Wedding Dress!" Daughter #1 was happy to comply knowing the dress was well seasoned for such an event. Sure enough, the dress performed flawlessly, and the oldest daughter and Mr. Right were joined in holy matrimony.
“The Wedding Dress” lives happily ever after, hanging blissfully in a closet in Polecat Hollow. You never know what a free piece of fabric and a little lace bought from Ragtime Fabrics will do!!!
Editor's Note: This story is actually a true fairy tale from Thelma's family!
I enjoy yard sales. It's just fun to shop for bargains and to explore what others cast away. Last summer I found a true treasure.
It was late in the afternoon, always a good time to get the best
prices. A shabby rocking chair caught my eye. Someone’s favorite,
it had been used well, then stored for a long time. The back was
hanging in shreds, with no seat at all. It was impossible to
test its comfort, but I fell in love with the shape and the potential.
I also fell in love with the price: FREE!
I took it home, stripped it, and removed all the
tacks. It was very sturdy, no loose joints or
cracks in the wood. After some sanding and
three coats of polyurethane, it looked like
a chair again. Its age? It's a style that was
used over several decades.
The original seat as well as the back were underpinned with webbing which is lighter and less expensive than wood, but I opted to replace the webbing in the seat with a piece of cut-to-fit plywood. Plywood makes the chair heavier, but it won't sag. I topped the plywood with 3” thick foam, softened with a layer of batting, and the seat was ready for a cover. I used the traditional webbing for the back and topped that with 1.5” foam, also softened with some batting.
I realized that the chair would look good in many different fabrics – I had a lot of options. The fabric I chose was a bold choice, but it really caught my eye at Ragtime! I carried my chair into the store. Yeah, they probably thought I was nuts, but no one said a word. (I've always loved Ragtime! Great people!)
Assembly of the cover took only a couple of hours using an electric staple gun. I worked on the seat first. The plywood was separate from the chair. Once I had the fabric design centered, I fastened the front and back, working to keep the tension on the fabric even and to prevent pulling the design off center. Then I mitered the corners, worked the sides down, and put it back into the chair. Voila! It had a finished seat!
Next was the visible side of the chair’s back. I started with the design centered and wrapped the fabric over the top. The fabric was stapled across the rear of the top rail, low enough that those staples would be covered later. I wrapped the remaining edges around to the back and secured them with staples. It was a bit tricky to staple the areas where the arms joined the frame, and of course, through this whole process, I had to keep the chair from rocking. Some of my working poses weren't exactly graceful!
I always find it amazing the first time an upholstered piece finally takes on its finished appearance. I love it! But...there was still one more side to finish...the rear of the chair back.
I cut a rectangle of fabric large enough to cover the
back, again keeping the design centered. Then I
flipped the fabric and stapled it in place across
the top rail through a tack strip, a narrow lightweight
trip of cardboard, to form a straight edge. To soften
the back, I added a layer of batting. Then I folded the
sides and stapled everything in place. Done!
Well, almost. I should cover the underside with a dust cover. It's not visible so who knows...maybe I'll be
changing the fabric again before I get to that last step!
Years ago, Debbie Stohlman remembers a girlfriend's seamstress mom who had so much fabric that it was stacked floor to ceiling at their house. At the time, she thought that was really weird!
Considering our current stashes, we had a good laugh over that one!
Newly retired from her CEO position with the Culpeper County Chamber of Commerce, Debbie's revved up her sewing big-time. Her seamstress mom and high school home ec classes got her sewing in her youth, but raising her daughter, pursuing her career, and living in various locations (New Orleans, Ohio, Hampton Roads, and D.C.) due to her husband's Coast Guard work limited her stitching time. Now, machine embroidery, sewing for others (especially grandkids Emma, 6, and Andrew, 10) and her newly discovered quilting passion are providing the creative satisfaction that is enriching her retirement life.
While struggling with a less than satisfactory sewing machine, Debbie discovered a YouTube series called Made Everyday in which the hostess Dana was using Baby Lock machines, a brand Debbie had never heard of. A dealer search led her to Ragtime Fabrics where Debbie found our friendly staff who welcomed her and answered her questions. Debbie is happy now with her Baby Lock Accord sewing/embroidery machine and her Imagine serger. She takes regular quilting classes with Shellie who has helped her ignite her quilting mojo!
Debbie and her husband decided to turn their mountain weekend-getaway on thirty-one Greene County acres (near Stanardsville) into their full-time retirement home. They love their peaceful cabin in the woods.
But Debbie also loves coming into Harrisonburg to visit her sewing family at Ragtime!
I've been sewing for years (ok...decades . . lol!), and it's always bugged me that the word for what we enjoy doing . . .
. . . looks like the word for a particularly nasty part of the city's plumbing system!
I remember my grandmother referring to herself as a seamstress. It seemed to fit her perfectly because (a) the garments she produced were intricate and beautifully finished to a height of sewing perfection I could never seem to achieve myself, and (b) it seemed like a charmingly old-fashioned term, like spinster. And she was old-fashioned. (Something I didn't want to be!)
According to Threads magazine, we might call ourselves sewists:
". . . a relatively new term, combining the words "sew" and "artist," to describe someone who creates sewn works of art, which can include clothing or other items made with sewn elements." (October 11, 2012)
I don't know about you, but very little of what I sew is what I'd consider a work of art! So sewist seems a bit pretentious. Or boastful. Plus, a made-up word like that just seems artificially forced and politically correct.
Somewhere I read that some people who sew call themselves makers. That term strikes me as unclear -- wouldn't you next have to explain what you make?
So I'm stuck. What's your preference? Do you care? Do you have a better term?
Our Ragtime Staff